Thursday dinner: Roast chicken breasts with garbanzo beans

Not all paprika is created equal.

For most of my life, I thought paprika was the orange stuff that some people would put on macaroni salad. It really wasn’t until the last few years, when I really got into exploring and trying new stuff in the kitchen, that I learned the difference. It’s really a product of my upbringing. We never ate the stuff. Frankly, if it wasn’t parsley, basil or oregano, it rarely made it into one of my mother’s recipes. That said, it’s the fourth-most consumed spice in the world.

This particular recipe calls for smoked paprika. Most Spanish paprikas are smoked, though they can range in flavor from sweet to hot depending on the pepper used. Spanish paprikas are typical milder, a direct correlation to the pepper grown. The peppers used in Hungarian paprika are bolder and sun-dried. This process maintains the pepper’s natural flavors, which can range from bittersweet to hot. The most widely found variety, found in the plastic McCormick bottles with “Paprika” splashed across the front, is good mainly for garnish and color. It possess little to no flavor.

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The geniuses at Serious Eats recommend heating paprika in oil to release the spice’s complex flavors, which is exactly what happens in this dish. For a weeknight meal, it goes together rather quickly (45 minutes from start to dish). The original had cherry tomatoes involved, which I passed on. They looked piqued, at best, during today’s Wegmans run.

Roasted chicken breasts with garbanzo beans
Adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • Two boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk first six ingredients plus a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Pour one teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl, whisk in yogurt, sea salt and lemon juice. Set aside.

Dunk chicken breasts in the oil to coat and set on a lined baking sheet. Add beans to remaining spiced oil mixture and turn to coat. Top the chicken with the garbanzo beans.

Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve chicken with beans and yogurt sauce.

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